Not everyone agrees with The Football Educator’s notion of utilizing the extensive use of NFL contract incentives to bring out the best in players. Even the Collective Bargaining Agreement puts restrictions on the use of incentives.
A counter argument to incentives
I ran across an article written a while back that argued incentives worked against the intrinsic motivation of team play. Dan Pink wrote about this in his book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us – his prescription is to pay people enough of a salary so they aren’t worried about money and then don’t get in the way of intrinsic motivation. NFL veteran and ESPN analyst Tom Jackson said, “When I played, the incentive was to play as well as you could, to go to the playoffs and get a chance to win. That was the only incentive we needed.” Jackson is 62 years old and played for the Denver Broncos from 1973-1986. Dan Pink looks at the world through his own political spectrum.
This is exactly my point. Many of the major commentators in professional football are from an entirely different generation, raised and educated under a different set of circumstances. Their views and ideas about teamwork come from a different perspective of the world and on life in general. I don’t think the players of today’s NFL think any less of their contributions towards team goals and achievement, but I do think they’re a bit more realistic about how unwavering commitment can affect personal circumstances.
Once again Bruce Tulgan, author of Not Everyone Gets A Trophy, gives a GREAT explanation with his first myth regarding Gen Y;
Reality: They can be very loyal. But they don’t exhibit the kind of loyalty they find in a kingdom: blind loyalty to hierarchy, tight observance of rites of passage, patience for recognition and rewards. Instead, they offer the kind of loyalty you get in a free market – that is, transactional loyalty (whatever you can negotiate).
Tulgan continues; The critical element when it comes to rewarding Gen Yers is letting them know that rewards are tied to concrete actions within their own control. This might remind you of the old-fashioned pay scheme called piecework in which individuals are paid an agreed-on amount for each defined unit of work they produce. …The key to your success will be defining those measurable pieces of work and setting a price per piece.
More to absorb on NFL contract incentives;
Prohibited incentives – “Forget about it!”
- Any incentive bonus that depends on team performance in any category not identified in Exhibit A is prohibited.
- Any incentive bonus that depends on a player’s individual performance in any category not identified in Exhibit B is prohibited.
- Any incentive bonus that depends on a player’s individual performance in categories other than those used to assess performance at the player’s primary position is prohibited.
- Any incentive bonus based on a player receiving Honors or Media Recognition not listed in Exhibit C is prohibited.
- Any incentive bonus for special teams playtime is prohibited unless the player participated in at least 50% of the Club’s special teams plays in the immediately prior regular season.
- Any incentive bonus based upon another player’s performance is prohibited.
- Any incentive bonus which a player and a Club agree to that: (i) depends upon performance in any category not identified in Exhibit A or Exhibit B; and (ii) is stated in terms of per play, per event or per game, or for leading or any ranking on the Club in any such category; shall be prohibited.
Exhibit A – Team Incentives
|Points scored by Team||Points allowed by Team||Own punt return avg|
|TD’s scored by Team||TD’s allowed by Team||Own kickoff return avg|
|Total Offense (net yards)||Total Defense (net yards)||Opponent punt return avg|
|Avg net yds gained per rush||Avg net yds allowed per rush||Opponent kickoff retrun avg|
|Avg net yds gained per pass||Avg net yds allowed per pass|
|Passing % completed||Interceptions|
Wins, Playoffs, Conference Championship, Super Bowl, Touchdowns on returns and recoveries, Net difference takeaways/giveaways
Exhibit B – Individual incentives
- RUSHING – Total yards, Average yards (100 attempts), Touchdowns
- PASSING – Passer rating (224 attempts), Completion percentage (224 attempts), Interception percent (224 attempts), Total yards, Yards per pass (224 attempts), Touchdown passes
- RECEIVING – Total receptions, Total yards, Average yards (32 receptions), Touchdowns
- DEFENSE – Interceptions, Interception return yards, Touchdowns on interception returns, Opponent fumble recoveries, Opponent fumble return yards, Touchdowns on opponent fumble returns, Sacks
- PUNT RETURNS – Total yards, Average (20 returns), Touchdowns
- KICKOFF RETURNS – Total yards, Average (20 returns), Touchdowns
- PUNTING – Gross average (40 punts), Net average (40 punts), Inside 20-yard line
- PLACE KICKING – Total points, Field goals, Field goal percentage (16 attempts), Field goal percentage 0-19 yards (4 attempts), Field goal percentage 20-29 yards (4 attempts), Field goal percentage 30-39 yards (4 attempts), Field goal percentage 40-49 yards (4 attempts), Field goal percentage 50 yards or longer (3 attempts)
- OTHERS – Roster bonuses, Reporting bonuses, Playtime bonuses (excluding special teams), Special teams playtime
EXHIBIT C – HONORS AND RECOGNIZED MEDIA
- VETERAN HONORS – PRO BOWL, ALL NFL (First and Second Team), ALL CONFERENCE (First and Second Team), SUPER BOWL MVP (ROZELLE TROPHY), NFL MVP, OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF YEAR — NFL OR CONFERENCE, DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF YEAR — NFL OR CONFERENCE, PLAYER OF YEAR — NFL OR CONFERENCE
- VETERAN MEDIA – ASSOCIATED PRESS, PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY, PRO FOOTBALL WRITERS OF AMERICA, SPORTING NEWS, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED